FSS v Eddie and Keela – Renault Scenic

This leg of the story is fairly well known at the start. In a basement car park with 10 suspect cars in it, Eddie the cadaver dog alerted only at the Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns some 24 days after Madeleine disappeared.

Finding traces of Madeleine in apartment 5A proves little other than that Madeleine was in 5A. That makes 5A an incident scene only, not yet upgraded to accident scene or accorded the status of crime scene.

Finding credible evidence of Madeleine in the Renault Scenic changes the entire scenario. In that case, apartment 5A is an accident scene or a crime scene, and the McCanns are criminals. They concealed a body, retrieved that body, and finally disposed of it using the Scenic.

In the car park video, after running around for a while Eddie finally goes to the driver’s door of the Renault Scenic and gives an alert. This is attributed to odour leaking through the seal of the door. The chase is on.

It is explained that Eddie is not deployed further inside the Scenic, on the basis that if he can detect the odour of death through the door seal, the inside, by definition will be rife with the stench of death. It is time to deploy Keela.

The human-blood dog enters the Renault Scenic and two sources are found. A glove compartment is marked, and the luggage area in the rear is also marked.

Once again we have the smell of decomposition and Keela appears to be indicating it is human blood.

The next stages are a little hazier in rehashes of the story.

Looking in the glove-box, the key of the Renault Scenic is found. To work out what is causing the alerts, the police take the key and put it in a bucket of sand (kindly provided by local firemen).

Both dogs alert around this sand bucket, from which it is deduced that the key is the source of the decomposition and blood smell.

As it happens, this is weak logic. If something else in the glove compartment was the source, I would expect another object kept in the same area, namely the key, to pass the two-dogs test. As would a rental contract or a passport or any other object in the same confined space. Fortunately, this does not seem to be relevant to the Madeleine McCann case.

The police bagged and tagged various samples from the Scenic. The key, bits of plastic from where Keela alerted in the luggage area, many hairs, parts of human nails, and fibres, were all meticulously recorded and sent to the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham.

What did the FSS find? The bits outside the FSS v Eddie and Keela debate are interesting, but let me stick to the central battle.

The FSS has two main reports on file, and these are remarkably consistent.

The first is dated 6 Sep 2007. Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the investigation on 2 Aug 2007. I cannot comment on what might have been passed to the PJ before that, given that I was not privy to what went on.

The second is dated 18 Jun 2008 and is much more formal.

But here is what both appear to say.

The key fob had cellular material on it, and that appears to match Gerry McCann, though the FSS cannot be certain. Note the FSS did not say blood but cellular material.

The luggage compartment tests proved beyond the FSS’s capability to interpret the results. The one that has 15 out of Madeleine’s 19 markers is attributed to 3 or more people.

A preliminary report from the FSS on 4 Sep 2007 appears to support Gonçalo Amaral in his view that the British police suspected the McCanns. The email from the FSS focussed on 3 crucial places relating to Madeleine in 5A and in the Scenic. These are, the swab that appears to have come from where Eddie/Keela alerted in apartment 5A, which seems to match Madeleine. Another swab from 5A that is close by the first, but the FSS says is not Madeleine. Then there’s the sample from the rear of the Scenic, not the key.

Madeleine had 19 markers as she inherited one copy of her markers from both parents, cutting it down from 20 to 19 markers. The number of markers found in rear of the Scenic was 37.

Feel free to chew over the conundrum as to why 15 of Madeleine’s 19 markers were found in the luggage compartment of the Renault Scenic while with so many markers available, the other 4 were not.

The number of markers found was 37. 37-15 = 22, with each person contributing a maximum of 20 markers. You need at least another two people, and each of those needs to have DNA that is not common to Madeleine. The final report says at least 3 people contributed, while the preliminary report put it at 3 to 5.

In summary, Keela said blood on the key. The FSS said cellular material on the key, but Gerry’s, not Madeleine’s.

Keela said blood in the rear of the Scenic. The FSS found 3 contributors of DNA. Madeleine plus relatives, or Madeleine’s relatives alone (without Madeleine) would do the trick. The FSS did not say blood.

Why did Keela alert in the boot? If it is correct to say that Keela alerted only to human blood, as opposed to other types of blood, then it is necessary to have human blood in the boot. Since the FSS is happy that Gerry was the source for the material on the key, the most obvious solution would be that Gerry also bled in the boot.

The FSS did not state blood was found anywhere in the Renault Scenic. The reports mention DNA and cellular material but no tests to prove that blood was the source. Blood in the Renault Scenic is purely down to Keela.

I need to check the apartment 5A findings for blood. From memory, the Portuguese forensic team did not find blood, and the FSS did not find blood. Only Keela did and she does not constitute evidence in a court working under the laws of England and Wales.

If I am correct, what we have is no credible evidence of blood, that would pass a test in court. Just Eddie and Keela and Martin Grime.

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